This study evaluated the efficacy of a sexual assault risk-reduction program that included a physical self-defense component for college women (N = 500).
Program group women significantly increased their protective behaviors over the 6-month follow-up period compared to the waiting-list control group; however, there were no significant differences between the two groups regarding rates of sexual victimization, assertive communication, or feelings of self-efficacy over the follow-up periods. Program group women who were victimized during the 3-month follow-up period evidenced less self-blame and greater offender blame for their assaults than control group women who were victimized following the program. Given that program women evidenced a greater awareness of sexual assault at the end of the study than control group women, the difficulty in addressing the impact of programming on rates of sexual victimization is discussed. (publisher abstract modified)